A Lesson Learned
As a coach for Orlando City Youth Soccer Club, and a “Life Coach” to a few, I often use what I am reading, the things that I experience and what others might experience and use them as life lessons. After attending Orlando City Soccer Clubs first game of the season and as a fan of soccer most of my life, I savored the last four minutes of Sunday’s game. In all honesty it was like a total of sixty something seconds. In first 90 minutes I had a flood of emotions going through me about the game I was watching, about our team losing and how in the world did we miss the opportunities given to us.
After the game and the next day my thoughts were racing on what to discuss with my teams. The possibilities of the lessons that could be discussed from this game was endless, which one would I pick? Should I pick a few to discuss? This past Sunday’s game was similar to a previous game that was played 2015 which a very dramatic ending caught the worlds attention as Kaka finished off a free kick to tie the game. I say similar because the lesson I took away from this years game is much different than last years.
Never, Ever, Ever Give Up is not the most important lesson that I took away from this game, come on that is the obvious lesson, right? Honestly the team never gave up, which was great. Being scored on first with the other team only having ten men. Then going down a man themselves, and then going down two goals. I looked around and saw many people leaving their seats 90 minutes into the game. A few of my own family members remarked… “Are you ready?” Of course I wasn’t. This is an obvious lesson we can all learn, and oh the other obvious is Never, Ever, Ever leave early.
The lesson I learned and what I wanted to communicate to my players was more than Never, Ever, Ever Give Up. Most players no matter what sport especially professionals will continue to give their maximum effort on the pitch, court or field no matter the score, or scenario they are in. That is just what they do, that sets them apart from the weekend warriors that almost, could of made it.
The lesson I learned was on is at a different level, just like the player’s this past Sunday was on a different level. This past Sunday over 60,000 + saw this level first hand. We saw the character of the Orlando City Soccer Club. The players that were on the pitch and on the bench not only didn’t give up, they didn’t stop believing in themselves. They had hope for a different finish. They had a different vision than what was looked by most of the fans as the expected outcome being down 2-0 with four minutes left.
You see their belief in themselves and the fans belief in their team translated into them giving their “Highest Quality of Human Energy” which was not just “effort” but it was “human energy, which possesses quantity, quality, focus and intensity.”
Jim Loehr explains it this way:
“Investing one’s best effort has a very different meaning from investing one’s best energy. Best effort simply refers to the quantity or volume of energy invested.” So in other words, if the OCSC’s players continued to run hard, really try to make the correct runs, passes, and really tried hard to shoot on frame then we would say “well done, great effort!” However, investing your best energy is so much different. Investing your “best energy” means investing the “quantity, quality, focus, and intensity” needed to get the job done, to succeed and achieve what you set out to achieve.
The players had the “quantity of energy” needed to make the runs, the passes at the right time and right spot, they had the “quality of energy” which Loehr says comes from “hormonal releases associate with positive emotions such as hope, optimism, challenge.” Their belief was the quality, the fans belief in them and the energy the fans produced was the “hope, and optimism” the players needed to produce the quality finish they had.
The next was the “focus” the players had. Larin’s flick on frame from Shea’s cross. Let’s talk about that focus, or Winter’s focus when the ball is launched perfectly from Carrasco down the field in one last attempt to equal the score and Larin falling trying to knock the ball in and Winter’s focus to finish it off. That “energy investment” was on another level.
Then the last of what Loehr says is needed in the highest quality of energy given is “intensity.” He says, “Intensity is a reflection of commitment and purpose.” I am not sure about you, but I feel I was witness to the highest possible commitment and purpose that a team could have this past Sunday. The team’s commitment to finish the game with continued belief in themselves demonstrates the character of the players, coaches, and staff of Orlando City Soccer Club.
So thank you Orlando City Soccer Club for demonstrating what giving your “highest quality of human energy” looks like, and not just giving my two boys who look up to you the idea of giving one’s “best effort” as enough. Thank you for life lesson I learned as I continue to strive to invest the “highest quality of human energy” in my marriage, fatherhood, business, and as a coach. Thank you for the life lesson I can use to educate and help infuse passion with our young soccer players to always, always give their “highest quality of human energy” and always, always continue to believe.